Ways to Manage Unmanaged Print Costs

by CXOtoday Staff    Dec 30, 2009

There may be a lot of unanswered questions when you consider the true costs of printing in your organisation. In this article, Puneet Datta, Senior Marketing Manger of Canon Business Imaging Solutions explains the importance of analyzing and managing your business’ printing trends and habits to achieve maximum return on investment.

It’s what you can’t see that counts - I am sure all of us have heard of this term before. The saying, of course, can be applied to almost any subject, but now it has become more relevant especially in the context of print management?

With the current economic situation enterprises are now increasingly looking at all possible options for reducing costs. With the limited capital expenditure, and there is a demand of higher return on asset from company’s investments in technology and capital equipment. This global economic downturn has increased businesses’ urgent focus on making every rupee spent count. In India enterprises are taking initiatives to streamline their printing environment, optimize device fleet and most importantly, reduce overall costs associated with the enterprise print strategy.

Industry figures from IDC also indicate there has been an increase in demand for managed document services across the region. With the current economic landscape, organizations are deploying innovative solutions to achieve optimization of business processes & greater operational efficiency. They are also seeking for reliable partners and vendors that could offer products which are not only easy to use, but also can help them sail through the challenging storm ahead. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the area of printing.

Measurement, Management and Results
When it comes to printing, we often focus more on the hardware and less on the software. Yet, in today’s fast paced world, it is software that helps us meet the most demanding business needs. Most of the time, organizations put more emphasis on the initial cost of purchase and less on the recurring cost of usage. Though it may seem beneficial at that point of time, but in the long run, it will only create higher overheads for businesses.

What many decision makers have often overlooked is the fact that software does help to improve and increase the rate on the return on investment of their hardware acquisitions. When both software and hardware combined, the enhanced functionality is instrumental in driving the efficiency of an organization, thus boosting the value of the total package purchased.

When making software investment decisions, businesses, particularly the midsize ones, are more likely to focus on the expertise and level of support provided by vendors, and most importantly the data security and integrity of the product, before deciding which software to acquire.

To be able to manage the cost of printing, organizations should look for a partner that has the capability and expertise of helping customer analyze and produce a comprehensive report that pinpoint areas of undesirable printing habits. Once these habits have been identified, a suitable ‘print strategy’ for the organization can then be developed.

Now, always remember that a good print strategy needs to have a balanced spectrum of printing considerations taken into account like costs, productivity, user accountability, security and device maintenance.

Allocate printing costs quickly and efficiently

By implementing the right print management software available in the market place today, companies will have full capability of analyzing all printing jobs throughout the organization and identify key indicators such as who is printing in color, what they are printing, how often and how much it is going to cost the organization.

Once these indicators have been reflected in the print analysis report, organizations will then be able to identify specific steps to manage as well as measure the usage and cost of print outputs in the office.

Accounting applications such as effective charging can also be set up according to users, workgroups or departments. By using the right software, print limits or color printing rights can be implemented to monitor and control employees printing usage and privileges.

To utilize other office print devices to its maximum potential, print jobs can also be automatically re-routed to more efficient printers available to reduce costs.

Ensures document security and maximum flexibility

Most of us take document security for granted. Sensitive and confidential information could potentially be leaked out without secure print applications and mechanisms.

A document solution that can provide users with effective security applications to control the output of sensitive documents is crucial. With the right print management software, print jobs can be held at the server and will only be retrieved at the device using an appropriate identification method - which is ideal for government bodies dealing in sensitive information.

To achieve maximum flexibility and document security, various identification systems can also be integrated with the solution; and these include fingerprint readers, chip card readers, magnetic card readers, contactless card readers and keyboard entry.

Choose a system that makes the right decision for you

Deploying and implementing an effective print strategy and solution in the times of economic downturn is essential to achieve maximum streamlined and cost controlled business operations.

The need for quality, integrated, easy-to-use yet cost effective system that delivers a variety of print management functionality to a wide range of businesses, regardless of size and industry type, is in line with the push for organizations to do more with less. Therefore, the back end operation needs to be highly efficient to cut down inefficiencies, time and extra money spent and most importantly, cost.